Music Streaming Statistics 2023 - Spotify vs Amazon vs Youtube User Numbers
For many of us, some of our most prized possessions in years gone by may have been CDs, cassettes or even vinyl versions of our favourite music. But gone are the days where you need a whole load of storage and a ton of physical CDs or cassettes to listen to your go to tunes.
Courtesy of streaming services, we’ve all got access to millions of tracks right in the palm of our hands.
But just how prevalent is music streaming, which are the most popular services and is it really killing the CD? We carried out a survey, dug into some data and crunched the numbers to bring you our global music streaming statistics for 2023.
Let’s dive in.
The Radio Edit - Key Music Streaming Facts
Just here for the short version? Here are the most important music streaming statistics you need for 2023. You’ll find more detail within:
- 38.1% of people in the UK use Spotify to listen to music
- 36.25% use Amazon music
- 30% of people in the UK still listen to CDs - but this figure falls drastically to just 7.56% amongst those aged 16 to 24
- Almost 1 in 12 people in the UK say they do not listen to music at all
- 16 to 24 year olds are likelier to listen to music on vinyl than they are on CD
Music Streaming Services Usage by Numbers
Music streaming services have millions and millions of users globally.
In January 2023, we commissioned a survey of 2,000 people aged 16 or over in the UK to find out which methods and services they use to listen to music.
Here’s what we asked:
- Which methods, if any, do you use to listen to music? (Check all that apply)
- Youtube Music
- Amazon Music
- Apple Music
- Other (Please specify)
- None - I don’t listen to music
Here’s what they told us
|Response||% of People Who Use That Method to Listen to Music|
|Other method, please specify||11.90%|
|None - I don't listen to music||7.30%|
In other words, 38.1% of the UK population uses Spotify according to these statistics. It’s closely followed by Youtube Music (36.25%). Amazon Music isn’t too far behind (25.4%) and Apple Music follows with 14.75% penetration in the UK according to our data.
What did surprise us is the fact that the third most popular way in which people listen to music in 2023 is still CDs, with 30% of respondents claiming to to still use them.
It means CDs still outrank Amazon Music by a little way and Apple Music considerably.
Spotify vs Amazon Music
Our statistics show that Spotify is the bigger platform of the two. By quite a way. While a quarter of Brits use Amazon Music, almost 40% use Spotify.
Spotify vs Youtube Music
Rather than Amazon music, it is Youtube that is proving to be the closest competitor for Spotify. Youtube music is used by just over 36% of people in the UK according to our statistics, putting it just behind the streaming giant that is Spotify.
However, there’s a big caveat here. These numbers are astronomically variable depending on the age of our respondents.
Young People and Music Streaming - The Statistics
30% of the population still listen to CDs. That’s a statistic that still took us by surprise. But if we delve into demographics a little, we can get a better understanding.
Over a third of the population in the UK is over the age of 55. So this demographic can influence averages quite notably. When we started to segment the data and look at music listening habits by age, a clear story emerged.
|Platform Used to Listen to Music||16 to 24 year olds||25 - 34||35 to 44||45 - 54||55+|
|Other method, please specify||2.67%||4.37%||6.10%||10.75%||20.94%|
|None - I don't listen to music||4.00%||3.21%||4.27%||6.87%||11.57%|
We can see:
- More than half of under 35s use Spotify
- Those aged 16 to 24 are slightly likelier to listen to music on vinyl than they are on CDs
- Spotify, on the whole, is the most popular music streaming platform in the UK. But this is not the case across all age groups For those aged 35 to 33, Youtube music is slightly more popular and for those aged 55 and over, it is notably more popular.
Spotify vs the CD
So is Spotify killing the CD?
Well, the age specific statistics certainly show a negative correlation between proportion of people who use Spotify and those who listen to music using CDs.
- Just 7.56% of those aged 16 to 24 use CDs
- At the other end of the spectrum, those aged 55 and over are more than 6 times as likely to listen to music on CDs with 47.2% citing this as a medium through which they listen to music
In fact, as we progress through age groups, two things happen:
- Older members of the population are more likely to listen to CDs
- They are also less likely to be Spotify users
Spotify usage again is different in different age groups.
- Less than a quarter (23.54%) of those aged 55 and over use Spotify
- The majority of people under 35 do use Spotify (57.33% of those aged 16 to 24 and 53.06% of 25 to 34s)
So is music streaming killing the CD? Well, yes. But the decline of this medium began before music streaming and began with the ability to buy MP3 files. As MP3 sales rose, CD sales declined. After all, the lure of having so many songs in your pocket as opposed to boxes of CDs in the garage of CDs stacked on shelves is quite something.
Some People Don’t Listen to Music AT ALL!
Ok, we appreciate that this isn’t directly related to music streaming statistics. But we were also quite taken aback with how many people say they do not listen to music at all.
Across the population, almost 1 in 12 (7.3%) people do not listen to music at all!
Once again, we find significant age differences here.
- Just 4% of the youngest adults in the UK (those aged 16 to 24%) say they don’t listen to music
- This rises to more than 1 in 10 (11.57%) of those aged 55 and over
Gender and Music Listening Habits
So we can see clear patterns amongst age groups. And from the data, it would be a reasonably fair assumption to say that the younger someone is, the likelier they are to listen to music exclusively on digital platforms and music streaming services than on physical media such as CDs.
But does gender affect how we use music streaming services?
We took a look at the statistics from our survey and split the numbers based on the gender of respondents.
This is what we found.
|Platform Used to Listen to Music||Men||Women|
|Other method, please specify||8.32%||15.38%|
|None - I don't listen to music||5.88%||8.68%|
- Women are noticeably likelier to say they do not listen to music at all then men are
- Youtube music is more popular (slightly) with men than Spotify is, but Spotify has the lead amongst women
- Men are considerably likelier to use vinyl than women are
Music Streaming Platforms by Subscriber Numbers
Our UK survey data showed Spotify to be the most popular platform with music listeners. But is this reflected in official subscriber numbers?
|Apple Music||78 million|
|Amazon Music||55 million|
|Tencent Music*||55 million|
|Youtube Music||50 million|
*Tencent is a China only music streaming service
Spotify boasts considerably the largest volume of global subscribers.
Music Streaming Library Sizes
It’s a fair assumption that the size of the library is going to be a big deal for users deciding which music streaming service to subscribe to. And in a space that is increasingly saturated and competitive, making sure you’ve got the music your subscribers want is a big deal.
So, is one of the reasons that Spotify has so many more subscribers than other platforms down to library size?
Well, maybe. According to the statistics, the library sizes of the big music streaming platforms as of 2022 were as follows:
|Apple Music||75 million|
|Amazon Music||2 million to 90 million|
*The version of Amazon Music that is free to Amazon Prime users has 2 million songs (this is the version that the majority of subscribers use) while Amazon states that its Music Unlimited subscription has a library of 90 million songs.
Most Popular Music Streaming Service by Searches
One way to get a view on how many people are interested in something is by checking out the number of times people search for it on Google. We all head to Google to nosey in on celebrities, get inspiration for travel, find out what our health symptoms might mean (we’d advise against that one!) and find products and services.
So we used kwfinder.com to find out how many times in any given month a particular streaming service is searched for in Google.
We then added the volumes for each month together to give us annual totals:
|Year||Searches Globally Over the Year for "Apple Music"||Spotify||Youtube Music||Amazon Music||Deezer||Tidal|
(Note that the y axis is on a log scale to better show all brands on one graph)
By far and away, Spotify leads the race for searches with 422.2 million searches in Google globally in 2022 for “spotify.” The second place contender was Amazon Music with 231.5 million.
Spotify Wrapped - Your Most Played Tracks of the Year
One of the things we love most about Spotify is that time of year when it calls you out on all the tracks you repeat listened to! Spotify Wrapped is a fantastic data release with a viral edge - everyone loves to share their Wrapped info on social. In fact:
- At the time of writing, over 330,000 people have shared and Instagram post using the #spotifywrapped hashtag
Long Live Music Streaming?
So with younger people clearly having abandoned physical music media in favour of streaming, the future for music streaming platforms looks promising.
Subscribers are on the up and music library sizes are growing. But it’s unlikely to be plain sailing for Spotify as more competition enters the market.
But whatever happens to the streaming market, one thing looks likely to remain true. As a music lover and listener, you’ll have access to millions of tracks in the palm of your hand for the rest of your life. So grab your headphones, sit back and get your favourite tunes on.
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